Massive Onslaught Of Headlines Grip The Day.

Trump’s defiance of oversight presents new challenge to Congress’s ability to rein in the executive branch

Trump’s plan to pull troops back in Syria threatens chaos in the region, sparks GOP revolt

New York City prosecutors can see Trump’s tax returns, judge rules

Newsletter: Can you hear the whistles blowing?

Aiming to profit, Trump allies pressed Ukraine over gas firm

Johnson says Trump blocked him from telling Ukraine foreign aid was coming


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And Now A Word From The Sponsor

Fox’s Neil Cavuto unleashed a lengthy rebuke to Trump. “Mr. President, we don’t work for you.” #vote

The impunity is the point.

Greg Sargent wrote, ‘For days now, President Trump has been embroiled in a public feud of sorts with Fox News, because he’s angry that the network isn’t functioning dutifully enough as his 24/7 propaganda channel.

This is mostly being discussed as another turn in Trump’s ongoing war on the media, one in which his ire has boomeranged on his media supporters. But the story here is bigger than this: Trump’s battle with Fox illuminates the multi-tentacled manner in which Trump is corrupting our democracy and political system, in a new and interesting way.

On Thursday night, Fox’s Neil Cavuto unleashed a lengthy rebuke to Trump. In it, Cavuto pointedly noted: “Mr. President, we don’t work for you.”

This was a response to Trump’s rage-tweet excoriating the network: “We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

Trump is angry, Cavuto argued, because on occasion Fox doesn’t sufficiently whitewash his failures and lies. Cavuto noted that Trump chafes because Fox covers bad economic numbers, market drops and Trump’s ongoing trade disasters, and because Fox has pointed out that Trump lied when he claimed Mexico would pay for his wall, that Russia didn’t interfere in 2016, and that he inherited a recession from Barack Obama.

“To fact check him is to be all but dead to him,” Cavuto said, adding that many Trump supporters had contacted him to tell him that “I am either with him totally, or I am a Never Trumper fully.”

My purpose here is not to defend Fox. Yes, its news anchors sometimes do cover the administration aggressively, but the news coverage also has a heavy pro-Trump tilt, and its opinion hosts regularly traffic in outright pro-Trump agitprop and white nationalist conspiracy theories.

As Margaret Sullivan puts it, Fox writ large and Trump are the “conjoined twins of misinformation.” If anything, Trump’s attacks have given the network a way to hype its largely nonexistent independence from him.

Rather, what’s interesting here is Cavuto’s declaration that many Trump supporters have come to expect and demand from Fox absolute fealty to their leader.

Cavuto deserves some credit. In his rebuke, he exposed many of the false storylines that intertwine in Trump’s preferred narrative of the last few years: Russia never tried to sabotage our political system on his behalf. Trump deserves total credit for what has been good about the economy, having inherited nothing but wreckage from the Obama years. All the recent bad economic news is fake news, as are claims that Trump’s unhinged handling of trade is helping cause it. Trump’s buffoonish vow to subjugate Mexico and force it to pay for his wall has proved to be a mirage.

Trump expects and demands that Fox News hew to this propagandistic narrative entirely. But, even more to the point, he publicly and unabashedly tells his supporters that he expects and demands it.

Corruption of our discourse

The whole point here is the open declaration that something meant to be a news network should function as his personal 24/7 propaganda and disinformation outlet. It’s a double-fisted declaration of impunity: Trump must be immune from journalistic scrutiny and be permitted to operate and lie with absolute impunity, and he will publicly assert that an ostensibly journalistic institution should be entirely subservient to him with absolute, shameless impunity as well.

This is a form of insidious corruption — corruption of our discourse. All politicians shade the truth; politics inescapably involves artifice of one kind or another. But most hew to some kind of underlying belief that gaslighting voters too shamelessly treats them with a form of deep contempt; that at some point, factual reality has to matter; that journalism plays a legitimate institutional role in restraining political dishonesty; and that all this is a necessary foundation for deliberative democracy to function.

But Trump has crossed over into a form of autocratic disinformation that is designed to render fact-based deliberation and argument impossible. And Trump is openly declaring not just that his supporters have a stake in this; but also that they are entitled to their very own network devoted to it as well. If it doesn’t play this role, it has somehow betrayed them.

The impunity is the point

All this is also key to Trump’s public flaunting of his other excursions into corruption. When Trump declared his intention to hold the next Group of Seven meeting at his Florida resort; when Trump dangled pardons with what the special counsel determined was improper intent; when Trump calls for investigations of political opponents; when Trump declares his frustration with norms designed to prevent such manipulation of law enforcement — well, all of that is in plain sight.

Vox’s David Roberts and former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer got at this in an interesting exchange:

Everything we know about Trump leaves little doubt that this is deliberately the case. Trump is openly asserting the power to do these things with impunity.

As political scientist Jonathan Bernstein observes, the fact that the lawlessness is by design so blatant itself undermines faith in constitutional government and “promotes contempt for the entire concept of the rule of law.”

Trump’s unabashed and open assertion of impunity is a central feature of his corruption. This public flaunting of that corruption — of our governing institutions and discourse alike — compounds it and makes it all the more corrosive.’

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It’s All About The Economy, Stupid!


While official stats suggest that the United States has the lowest unemployment rate in nearly a half century, the facts suggest otherwise.

FACT: Retaliers in 2019 throughout the nation are closing stores. They include:  Nordstrom 4 stores; Macy’s 4 stores; Target 6 stores; Kohl’s 8 stores; Lord & Taylor (America’s oldest department store company founded in 1826) 9 stores; Topshop 11 stores; Walmart 17 stores; J. Crew 20 stores; Southeastern Grocers (Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo & Harveys) 22 stores; JC Penney 27 stores; Christopher & Banks closing 40 stores; Abercrombie & Fitch closing up to 40 stores; Francesca’s 40 stores; Bed Bath & Beyond 40 stores; Z-Gallerie 44 stores; The Children’s Place 45 stores; Party City 45 stores; CVS closing 46 stores; K Mart 48 stores; Lowes (see below) closing 51 stores;  Victoria Secret 53 stores; Office Depot 59 stores; Destination Maternity 67 stores; Sears 72 stores; Performance Bicycle 102 stores; Pier 1 Imports closing 145 stores; Signet Jewelry (Kay Jewelry, Jared The Gallery of Jewelry & Zales) closing 150 stores; Starbucks 150 stores; LifeWay Christian Stores 170 stores; Things Remembered 200 stores; Gap 230 stores; Chico’s (including White House Black Market & Soma) 250 stores; Charming Charlie 261 stores; Fred’s 312 stores; Shopko’s 363 stores; Family Dollar 390 stores; Charlotte Russe closing 512 stores; DressBarn 660 stores; Gymboree 800 stores and Payless ShoeSource closing 2,100 stores to name a few. This total, which is by no means complete comes to 7,613 stores that are or will be closed during 2019 alone. Store closings result in more job losses, all over the nation. Fox Business News proclaimed it was a Retail Apocalypse. It stated ‘The rise of e-commerce outlets like Amazon has made it harder for traditional retailers to attract customers to their stores and forced companies to change their sales strategies. Many companies have turned to sales promotions and increased digital efforts to lure shoppers while shutting down brick-and-mortar locations.’

FACT: Lowe’s is letting go of thousands of workers at roughly 1,800 U.S. stores. The company plans to outsource its maintenance and assembly jobs to third parties. The home-improvement retailer told CNBC that the shift is to allow store associates more time “serving customers.” Since Marvin Ellison took over as CEO in July 2018, Lowe’s has been closing stores to cut costs. According to a recent study, more than 7,000 U.S. store closures have been announced this year, with 12,000 expected by 2020. According to Anthony Cacciavillani, Senior Outside Sales Rep at NEFCO Corporation, “That’s very sad especially in this booming economy. It’s time for these large companies to be accountable to the large amount of people they hire . I remember when small hardware stores were closing due to Lowe’s and Home Depot massive stores, pricing and inventory, the hardware stores couldn’t keep up. Lowe’s and Home Depot can ruin the economy with these lay offs.

FACT: The automotive industry is closing plants and laying off people throughout North America. GM is laying off more than 14,000 workers and close three assembly plants and two component factories in North America by the end of 2019. ‘There’s nowhere to transfer. They’ve got nowhere to go. They’re just out of work,’ said Dave Green, a union leader near Youngstown where GM in early March plans to shut down its factory that makes the Chevrolet Cruze compact car. The dominoes already are starting to fall. A plant that makes seats for the Cruze and another business that does logistics and warehousing work for GM in Ohio have closed in March, too. Just three years ago, those two had a combined 800 workers. Green has compiled a list of more than 50 other businesses whose work is tied to the Ohio assembly plant. But it’s difficult to know how many will be forced to cut jobs because many do work for other auto plants and industries. Despite varying estimates, some economists project that for every auto plant job that is lost, three or four additional positions are eliminated. Research shows that auto plants, and manufacturing in general, create more spinoff jobs than other industries. Suppliers closest to factories that end up shutting down tend to be hit hardest because they’re usually more reliant on those plants than those farther removed with a broader customer base, said Albert J. Sumell, an economics professor at Youngstown State University. Workers at a parts plant in Whitby, Ontario, walked off the job in January to protest GM’s decision to shutter its Canadian plant while another nearby supplier plant announced it will be forced to close. Many of the parts that flow into the transmission plant near Baltimore come from other states, including South Carolina and Tennessee, and some are delivered from Mexico and Canada, said Guy White, a UAW shop chairman in Maryland.

“There’s all sorts of suppliers. It’s huge,” he said. “We get stuff from all over the world.” Other jobs that are directly tied to the plant are more likely to be in jeopardy, including those who supply its machines or sort parts, White said. Those who study the auto supply industry say it’s too early to know the full impact of GM’s transformation away from cars to focus on trucks, SUVs, and electric and autonomous vehicles.

Then there is the constant battle about closing the border with Mexico. The entire US auto industry would shut down within a week if Trump goes through with his pledge to close the US-Mexican border, according to a leading expert on the industry. That’s because every automaker operating an auto plant in the United States depends on parts imported from Mexico, said Kristin Dziczek, the vice president of industry, labor and economics at the Center for Automotive Research. About 37% of all auto parts imported to the United States originate in Mexico. Virtually all car models in America have Mexican parts, she said. Because of that reliance, she said the auto industry would stop producing vehicles relatively quickly. “You can’t sell cars with missing pieces,” she said. “You’ve got to have them all. I see the whole industry shutdown within a week of a border closing.”

FACT: The rising costs associated with maintaining a middle-class lifestyle are pushing American middle-class families further in debt, says The Wall Street Journal. In the past three decades, the median household income has risen 14% — while average house prices soared 290%. With wage growth failing to keep up with the rising costs of college, cars, medical care and housing, people are increasingly turning to financing where other generations might have bought outright, notes the Journal. According to Anthony Cacciavillani, Senior Outside Sales Rep at NEFCO Corporation, ‘Unemployment is low, but household debt continues to rise. Auto delinquencies are already at crisis levels. Any shift in unemployment will have exasperated consequences to credit quality. Be careful buying into the goldilocks economy. The 10 year is trading where it is for a reason. Fed Watchers are wishers.’

FACT: The U.S. will put an additional 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion dollars of Chinese goods from Sept. 1, announced Trump —despite the two countries restarting trade talks in Shanghai this week which, according to the White House, have been “constructive.” Negotiations have been in limbo since May, when the U.S. accused China of backing out of provisions for a tentative deal. China responded earlier today that “while [it] did not want a trade war with the U.S.,” it would “have to take countermeasures” if a new levy was put into place, according to Reuters. Result: Dow dropped 280 points, giving up big earlier gain after Trump says US adding more tariffs on China.’ CNBC

FACT: The Real Unemployment Rate is vastly different than what the Government claims. The number doesn’t include the underemployed or the discouraged. The U-6 rate is a more encompassing unemployment rate that counts discouraged workers who aren’t currently looking for jobs as well as those holding jobs part time for economic reasons.

The U-6 rate, often called the “real” unemployment rate, was 7.3 percent in February.

The number of those employed part time for economic reasons was 4.3 million.

The U6 rate expands the range of the unemployed with three categories of individuals: underemployed, marginally attached or discouraged workers. Underemployed people are part-time workers who want full-time jobs. Marginally attached are those who have looked for work in the last year, but not during the previous four weeks. Discouraged workers are marginally attached people who have given up looking for work because they have gone back to school, are pregnant or became disabled. Based on their circumstances, they may or may not return to the labor force.

By including everyone on the fringes of the labor market, the U6 rate offers a broader perspective into the underutilization of the country’s workforce. For this reason, many economists consider U6 the “true unemployment rate.” In fact, Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said U6 paints a clearer picture of actual U.S. unemployment.

It’s important to revisit these categories and what they mean because for employers facing a shortage of qualified candidates, there may be large pockets of available workers tucked away among the underemployed, the marginally attached or discouraged workers who can fill open positions.

With three additional categories of unemployed people, U6 historically is about double the U3 rate. For example, in January 2019, the seasonally adjusted U3 rate was 4.0%, while U6 was 8.1%. But how does that translate into numbers of workers? According to BLS figures from February, U3 accounted for about 6.2 million unemployed workers (3.8%); U6 was 11.9 million workers (7.3%). The difference is approximately 5.7 million workers across the country. That’s a really big number of non-working unemployed people.

The underemployed and marginally attached represent an opportunity for employers to transition many of them to full-time work. But can they? Do they have the where-with-all and the foresight to fight against a potentially depressed economy looming on the horizon.

Then there are the older workers who have gone from good paying jobs to working two jobs to equal about 60% of their former pay. This underutilized, massively growing class leans heavily upon maximum credit and limited borrowing power, which places much of this society into a position of poverty. After the Great Recession ended, jobless older workers are the forgotten story of the economic recovery. U.S. employers are creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs every month, but millions of older workers who want a job cannot find work.

The jobless rate for workers over 55 was just 3.5%. But that figure is deceptive. If you add in workers holding part-time jobs who would rather be working full time, and unemployed workers who have recently given up on seeking work, the jobless rate for older workers last month was 8.7%, according to analysis of the government figures by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at the New School.

Further, if you add jobless workers who gave up looking after more than four weeks, the 55-plus unemployment rate is a whopping 12%, SCEPA analysis shows. Looked at another way, 2.5 million older Americans want a job but do not have one.

The economic data documenting the problem is clear. So is one of the most important causes: age discrimination.

Age discrimination is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The law prohibits treating job applicants or employees who are over age 40 less favorably because of age. (The law applies to employers with 20 or more workers.) But most of the complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission focus on age-bias terminations rather than hiring—simply because hiring discrimination is so difficult to prove.

Yet two-thirds of older workers believe age discrimination occurs in the workplace, according to a 2013 survey by AARP. Older job seekers need much more time to find a job than older workers—36 weeks in 2015, compared with 26 weeks for younger workers, SCEPA data shows. A study by economists at the University of California at Irvine and Tulane University found strong evidence of age discrimination in hiring, particularly for older women. The researchers sent out 40,000 dummy job applications that included signals on the job-seekers’ ages, and then monitored the response rates. They measured callback rates for various occupations; workers age 49-51 applying for administrative positions had a callback rate 29% lower than younger workers, and it was 47% lower for workers over age 64.

According to Mark Miller and Reuters (090816), older American workers are still struggling to find jobs. Years after the Great Recession ended, jobless older workers are the forgotten story of the economic recovery. U.S. employers are creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs every month, but millions of older workers who want a job cannot find work.

Many companies discriminate in age by adding onto their employment forms, what year someone graduated from High School or College. This is age discrimination.

“Economists have been surprised by the increasingly weak relationship between wages and low unemployment,”. Indeed, in July, 29% of older full-time workers age 55-64 were in what Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist and SCEPA’s director calls “bad jobs.” That means they were earning less than two-thirds of the median wage for workers in that age range. She adds that when older displaced workers do find new jobs, they typically go back to work with about 75% of their former pay.

The American Dream for this group is now no longer reality, but now a myth of those who created it decades before.

The nation is on the brink of economic breakdown caused by a political Civil War with the head architect, an over privileged, disrespectful, bloated egotist who raves about civil disobedience and racial hatred. Hidden behind the facade of the rich, the stock market, this new leader of the Eastern World has created the largest debt in U.S. History, nearing $23 Trillion, representing a political party that was once famous for frugal, conservative economics. He has destroyed the very principles of what his Ripon party once cherished, along with party loyalists who stand beside him in deep, un-American fearful silence.

The 2020 Election is more than just a chance to voice one’s opinion. It may be your final chance to make sure that The American Dream lives…forward and beyond the next generation.

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The Maverick Lion Has Passed

“Senator John Sidney McCain III died at 4:28pm on August 25, 2018. With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years.”

May you have ‘Fair Winds and Following Seas’.

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A Softening With Rigidness

(Beginning image of Time Magazine Cover)

The last week was a very different week. For some, they felt the man in the White House betrayed many of the values the country stood for. While others stated that it was time we spoke with those we have not for decades.

As a result, the Gallup Poll for the week ending July 22, 2018, was as follows:

Presidential Percent Approval Rating: 42%
Presidential Percent Disapproval Rating: 54%

In many circles, pundits say the President’s support is softening, mainly due to the change in the Independent voter’s point of view.

However, for those who believe this is hurting his base support group, here are actual comments posted on Facebook during his speech at the VFW Conference in Kansas City, July 24, 2018:

‘He is bringing corporations back.’
‘Where’s Hillary?’
‘Haters need to shut up.’
‘Praise God who has given us a great President.’
‘Amen.’ (referring to above comment)
‘Democrats act lis a terrorist organization.’
‘ICE is not going anywhere.’
‘Yes. God gave us this man.’
‘We are here to stay and protect the laws.’
‘Yes. God is leading.’
‘Most people in this country aren’t true Americans.’
‘Build the wall!!’
‘And she did it legally!!!’
‘Canadians need to worry about a wall.’
‘You don’t break into my home and set the rules.’
‘We owe illegals nothing.’
‘So kind to our Veterans.’
‘Civil laws!’
‘No not brainwashed. Proud of my President.’
‘Always support our veterans and thx to a President who acknowledges them.’
‘ICE ICE Baby. Build the WALL.’
‘I love it. Wow.’
‘They didn’t use children to sneak in with.’
‘Love my President.’
‘National Treasure. Thank you.’
‘Shut up fakers. If you don’t like it, walk away.’
‘Those are Hillary’s voters.’
‘Just ignore the ugly remarks by the Fake News.’
‘I’m glad my kid has a president that is going What trump does. He’s crass and bullish, but honestly it takes someone that’s a bit of a bully to do what he is doing. Ill take a little crass in trade for what he is doing for the economy and the rest of the country.’
‘Traitors should leave.’
‘God Bless You, Mr. President.’

And all of this was after the following:

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Dropping…To Let Or Make (something) Fall Vertically.

The Presidential Approval Rating according to Gallup for the week of June 18-24, 2018 was 41%, a drop of 4% from the week before. The biggest drop came from the Republicans who dropped 3% from 90% to 87%. Democrats approval of the President reached a new low of 5%. Independents dropped 4% from 42% to 38% this week. As a whole, the country disapproves of the President of the United States by 55%.

Historically, for Presidents during this week from 1938-present the average approval rating was 53%.

Other elected President’s approval rating in June of second year were as follows:
Barack Obama 46 Jun 2010
George W. Bush 73 Jun 2002
Bill Clinton 46 Jun 1994
George H.W.Bush 68 Jun 1990
Ronald Reagan 45 Jun 1982
Jimmy Carter 43 Jun 1978
Richard Nixon 55 Jun 1970
John Kennedy 70 Jun 1962
Dwight Eisenhower 62 Jun 1954

With an unemployment rate of 3.8% (June), everyone in the administration, despite the public approval rating dropping, could feel good if it’s true that voters pick presidents based on the health of their wallets. However, while the unemployment rate is lower, the vast majority of Americans are making less and working more than they previously did prior to the Great Recession.

According to William Saletan writing in Slate (062718), ‘President Trump’s approval numbers are soft. They’re not just low in comparison to other presidents at this stage. They also disguise misgivings among his approvers. Trump’s base is weaker than it looks. Second, he’s a drag on his party. He makes the Republican disadvantage on the congressional ballot much worse.

In a Suffolk University/USA Today poll taken from June 13 to 18, Trump’s approval rating among registered voters stands at 43 percent. His disapproval rating is 51 percent. His favorable rating is about the same: 40 percent favorable, 52 percent unfavorable. These are bad numbers for a recently elected president, particularly in a good economy. Even so, they mask the gravity of his party’s predicament.

On the poll’s congressional ballot question—“Which party’s candidate are you more likely to vote for in your congressional district?”—the GOP trails by just six points, 45% to 39%. But when the question is framed around Trump—“Do you want to elect a Congress that mostly cooperates with President Trump, or one that mostly stands up to President Trump?”—the gap more than triples. Fifty-five percent of voters choose a Congress that stands up to Trump. Only 34% choose a Congress that cooperates with Trump. A six-point deficit becomes a 21-point deficit.

In a YouGov/Economist survey conducted from June 17 to 19, Trump has an approval rating of 41 percent and a disapproval rating of 48%. That seven-point deficit mirrors the GOP’s deficit in the poll’s congressional ballot. If the election were held today, 44% of respondents say they’d vote Democratic, while 37% say they’d vote Republican.’

Salatan goes further, ‘When the question is reframed around Trump, the gap doubles. The YouGov questionnaire asks respondents whether they want this year’s congressional candidates to be “more or less like Donald Trump.” Forty-six percent say they want candidates less like Trump. Only 32 percent say they want candidates more like him. That’s well below his 41 percent approval rating.

Trump blames Democrats for obstructing legislation, but Americans aren’t buying it. In the YouGov poll, a 41 percent plurality says Congress has accomplished less than usual (only 8% say Congress has accomplished more than usual), and these disappointed respondents blame congressional Republicans rather than Democrats, 45% to 19%.

In a Quinnipiac poll conducted from June 14 to 17, Trump’s job rating stands at 42% approval and 52% disapproval. But when voters are asked whether they’re “proud to have Donald Trump as president” or “embarrassed to have Donald Trump as president,” only 31% say they’re proud. That’s 11 points below his approval rating. By contrast, 49% of voters—nearly all of those who disapprove of the president—say he’s embarrassing.

The Quinnipiac survey asks voters whether they’d prefer to see Republicans or Democrats win control of the House and Senate. Democrats lead by small margins: 49% to 44% in the Senate, and 49% to 43% in the House. But when the same respondents are asked to choose candidates based on affiliation with Trump, the gap balloons. The survey asks whether you’d be more or less likely to vote for a House or Senate candidate who “strongly embraces President Trump and his policies.” Forty-three percent say they’d be less likely; only 29 percent say they’d be more likely. That 14-point spread is more than twice the size of the GOP’s deficit when Trump isn’t mentioned.

Jamelle Bouid wrote in Slate (062518), ‘On the issues, Trump remains at a distinct disadvantage. Most Americans prefer Democrats on health care and taxes, as majorities oppose Obamacare repeal and the Republican tax law. While White House officials see immigration as a wedge issue for Trump, most Americans reject his approach to the border. Seventy-five (75%) percent say immigration is a “good thing” and just 29% say immigration to the United States should be decreased. Two-thirds of Americans opposed his child-separation policy.’

Bouid also noted, ‘Most Republicans support the president but fewer people are calling themselves Republicans.’

Salatan notes, ‘Three Marist/NBC polls, taken between June 17 and June 22, examine key states: Florida, Ohio, and Arizona. In each state, Trump’s job approval is net negative. And in each state, the percentage of respondents who say he deserves to be re-elected is lower still. In Arizona and Ohio, Trump’s job approval deficit is eight points. But when respondents are asked whether Trump “deserves to be re-elected” or whether it’s “time to give a new person a chance,” Ohioans choose a new person by a 25-point margin, and Arizonans choose a new person by a 26-point margin. In Florida, Trump’s job approval deficit is only three points, but his “deserves to be re-elected” deficit is 20 points.’

In conclusion, Salatan writes, ‘The state polls, like the national polls, expose Trump as an albatross. Marist asks voters in all three states about their “preference for the outcome of this November’s congressional elections.” In each state, by a margin of 3 to 4 points, voters say they prefer “a Congress controlled by Democrats” to “a Congress controlled by Republicans.” But when the question is reformulated as a referendum on Trump, the gap widens. The surveys ask: “Will your vote for Congress in November 2018 be a vote to send a message that we need more Democrats to be a check and balance to Donald Trump [or] more Republicans who will help Donald Trump pass his agenda?” In Ohio and Arizona, voters choose Democrats by a 16-point margin. In Florida, they choose Democrats by a nine-point margin.

These surveys bode ill for Trump and the GOP. They suggest that his base is well below his approval rating, that many of his nominal supporters can be picked off, and that the more he makes himself the focus of the midterms—which he works to do, congenitally, every day—the more he hurts his party. He turns a narrow popular-vote deficit into a landslide. Maybe these polls are misleading, as early polls were in 2016. Or maybe voters have had time to see what kind of president he is, and they don’t like it.’

Today, more fuel to the fire will be added as the Supreme Court member will retire at the end of the month and a new one will be put up for Advise & Consent of the Senate. There is every indication that the President will use this to drum up his support within his circle of influence. There is every indication that the opposition will use it to drum up their support against him.

It is going to be a very interesting Summer and Fall.

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